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CD REVIEW: Doug MacDonald Band - Mr. Bones
By Cyrus Rhodes - 07/23/2013 - 03:42 PM EDT

Artist: Band: Doug MacDonald Band
Album: Mr. Bones
Label: Valiant
Genre: Post-Grunge, Alternative Rock
Sounds Like: Talking Heads, X, R.E.M. The White Stripes
Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 7/10
Best Songs: Shady Avenue, Honk Your Horn, Mr. Bones
Weakness: Short sided Songs
CD Review: Boston based DOUG MACDONALD BAND started up in March (2008)..All songs are written, played, and sung and produced by DOUG MACDONALD. There are (2) Albums that are on (I-tunes>Amazon>E-music>Rhaposy> ! We are a two piece band..that has a INDIE ROCK (sound) with a touch of (60's) Influence. Our Albums are (GIVE ME MY GUITAR) and the release of our new album (MR>BONES) Both Albums have a raw unique sound! The members are> (DOUG MACDONALD) Guitar,Lead vocals( and) (PATTY SHORT) Drummer,backup vocals. Band members include: Doug Mac Donald (guitars, vocals) and Patty Short (Drums).

The CD kicks things off with Track 1 “Honk Your Horn” a hooky, rock steady prelude of sorts that’s serves up methodical musical build, driving rock rhythm and emotional vocal delivery from Mac Donald. Track 2 “Social Outlet” serves up an impressive fallow-up statement that dishes out melodic phrasing, panted against dynamic musical flow and an impressive culmination of guitar, voice and harmonies against a grand slam chorus. Track 3 “Mr. Bones” keeps things moving with striking heartfelt vocal delivery, via well placed rhythm guitar and thought provoking lyrical content that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As the CD quickly unfolds I can hear influences ranging from Talking Heads, The White Stripes, and even X to early R.E.M. The music has everything you would expect from a dynamic Alternative Rock CD, but also touches straight up Americana Retro-Punk Rock that’s quite melodic and entertaining. The style of the music is highly original and refuses to be pinned down the first listen. The vocals from MacDonald are impressive and push the emotional envelope and imagination. The rhythm guitar ambience is spot on, very melodic and dynamic and the vocal phrasing and musical flow is highly creative. I didn’t fail to notice a few impressive surf rock guitar solos layered along the way. The overall vocal style from MacDonald work extremely well with the confines of this progressive rock catalogue and his melodic phrasing and lyrics are effective. Both Short and MacDonald seem like an impressive musical pairing, and we’ve seen this 2 member formula work very well with bands like the White Stripes. By track 4 the CD hits solid stride dishing out many impressive songs in a row. Like a heavy weight boxer the songs keep coming at you one after the other - with no sign of letting up. From melodic “Complicated Girl”  to grooving “Shady Avenue” to hypnotic “Flip Flop Nation’ and Disco Demolition” this EP pretty much has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 6 “Don’t Turn Around” the perfect finale statement for an EP of this caliber.

All tracks under 2.5 minutes feel like incomplete statements to me.

This latest release from Doug MacDoanld Band is a strong and consistent musical statement from start to finish. Its strength – the strong song for song consistency, progressive dynamics and strong melodic structure that keeps coming at you. The music is catchy, melodic, and highly original. What else can I say? DMB rocks the house!  

Cyrus Rhodes

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